KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sees off Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the conclusion of his visit to Kuwait.
KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sees off Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the conclusion of his visit to Kuwait.

KUWAIT: In the presence of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, President of the United Mexican States Enrique Pena Nieto, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, several agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed yesterday during the official rounds of talks held at Bayan Palace.

A MoU on the foreign affairs level was signed between First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Mexican Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu.

A cultural and technical cooperation agreement as well as an MoU on developing tourism was signed by Minister of Information, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Chairman of the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters (NCCAL) Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah and Mexican Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu on part of the Mexican Secretariats of Culture and Tourism.

An energy cooperation MoU was signed by Minister of Commerce and Industry, Acting Minister Finance, and Acting Oil Minister Dr Yousef Mohammad Al-Ali and Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell.

An agreement on promoting high educational ties was signed by Minister of Education and Minister of High Education Dr Bader Al-Issa and Mexican Minister of Public Education Aurelio Nuno Mayer. An aviation service agreement was signed by Minister of Communication and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Essa Al-Kanderi and Mexican Secretary for Transportation and Communication Gerardo Ruiz Esparza.

A MoU on healthcare was signed by Minister of Health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi and Mexican Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu on part of the Mexican Health Secretariat. An MoU to encourage direct investments was also signed head of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) Sheikh Dr Meshal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and CEO of ProMexico Francisco N Gonzalez Diaz.

Medals of honor
President Nieto had concluded a short visit to Kuwait yesterday. Shortly following his arrival to the country leading a senior-level delegation, he met with His Highness the Amir in the presence of Highness the Crown Prince. The official rounds of talks between the two countries began afterwards with the Kuwaiti side being presented by His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and other state officials while the Mexican side was represented by President Nieto and senior Mexican officials.

Deputy Minister of the Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah said in a statement that the meeting focused on booting relations between the two nations on all possible domains to serve the interest of the Kuwaiti and Mexican people. The talks also focused on issues of mutual interest.

Meanwhile, His Highness the Amir honored President Nieto with the Mubarak Al-Kabeer medal for his efforts in bolstering bilateral ties. President Nieto, on his part, awarded His Highness Sheikh Sabah with the Order of the Aztec Eagle medal. Later, His Highness the Amir held a lunch banquet in honor of Nieto. The Mexican President also met separately with His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, and Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem.

Economic ties
Also, President Nieto and his delegation visited Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). President Nieto, who was accompanied by Amiri Diwan Advisor Sheikh Fahad Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, was received by the chamber’s Chairman Ali Thunayan Al-Ghanem, Minister of Commerce and Industry Yousif Al-Ali and members of the chamber. In his speech upon the visit, Nieto praised the strong economic ties between Kuwait and Mexico, stressing the importance of boosting such relations to expand commercial exchange.

Meanwhile, Ghanem also performed a speech where he noted the important role of Mexico’s economy (second biggest in Latin America), in connecting the economies of the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. He also mentioned that Kuwait’s economy also plays a similar role in connecting the economies of the Gulf region with those of the Arab World, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Ghanem said that the commercial exchange between Kuwait and Mexico did not reach the level that both countries aim for yet. Moreover, the official hoped that this visit would be a starting point to boost commercial ties and achieve the highest levels of economic partnership in the fields of industry, tourism and energy.
Kuwait’s development plan involves attracting huge foreign investments, said the chairman, adding that the banking, financial and investment sectors have developed prominently in the recent years. Mentioning the negative impact of the severe drop in oil prices on the two countries’ economies, Ghanem stressed that “It is vital for both Kuwait and Mexico to cooperate in keeping oil prices stable and achieve economic diversity.”

$2 trillion
Meanwhile, CEO of ProMexico Francisco Gonzales Diaz said that Mexico anticipates joining the global Halal food market, a lucrative force which comprises more than 112 nations and amounts to more than $2 trillion in annual revenues.

In a statement, Diaz said while Kuwaiti and Mexican commercial ties have improved over the years, there is still room for additional growth. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries has significantly increased, going up from $14 million to $38 million last year, Diaz noted.

Mexico is the seventh biggest mobile phone exporter to Kuwait and the fifth biggest steel exporter, a sign that trade ties between the two nations are more robust than what appears on the surface, Diaz noted.

Moreover, Ghanem said that “Kuwait has a vision for a more competitive economic scene”, pointing to the country’s increasingly active role on the global economic stage. Ghanem also acknowledged Mexico’s prominent position in the global economic arena, saying that there is unlimited potential for increased cooperation between Kuwait and Mexico.

Director General of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) Sheikh Dr Meshaal Al-Sabah highlighted the longevity of Kuwaiti and Mexican ties, saying the relationship between both nations has grown exponentially over the years. Sheikh Meshaal listed some of KDIPA’s landmark achievements, including its ability to procure $1.2 trillion worth of foreign investment, a sign that the Kuwaiti market has become a magnet to foreign investors, he said. – KUNA